Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Prom Day - My 2013 WLSFA Meet 'n Greet Experience - Day Two

They gave us a good table because it was our anniversary.
After going to bed way too late, I had this plan to sleep in. I wasn't intending to do anything before Dr. Yoni Freedhoff's talk at 10:00 am anyway. But wouldn't you know it, I woke up at the crack of dawn and could not go back to sleep. I finally gave up about 7:30 am and got up.

I was dressed and at the convention by 8:30 am. I met some new people, visited the vendors and picked up some more swag. Then, at 9:00 am, I decided to hit the shops on more time trying to find a necklace for the evening's event. And maybe a new purse. I didn't manage it before I had to run back to see Dr. Yoni.

I deliberately got there early so I could meet him and chat with him beforehand. We had a nice chat and I met his wife too. I teased him about being a doctor with fans. Because I am a fan. He took it pretty well.

His talk was fabulous. Well worth the price of admission. I'll blog about it later as I think it deserves its own entire post.

Then I met up with another friend, this one from the Bay Area, and tried one more time to get me a necklace. This time I managed it! I spent as much as I normally spend on a fancy dress though. But that's okay because I only spent $8 on my dress. Thrift Towne! We hurried back but missed the group picture. (That happened last time too.)

Then it was time for lunch and I made my friend sit with me so I'd have someone to snark with. The "speaker" was Dr. Garth Davis, a bariatric surgeon, and his sister who has a lap band. (That he put in even though I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to operate on your relatives.) They were going to do a cooking demonstration and I knew from other sources that Dr. Garth had recently acquired Vegan Religion and was doing things like telling his WLS patients they only needed 45 g of protein a day. I figured, since I can't drink on Topamax, I needed someone I could do the :cough:bullshit:cough: thing with if he went down that path.

It was was just as well I had Snarky Sylvia because instead of a demonstration, he gave a lecture full of cherry picked data and misrepresentation of studies. At some point I abandoned the :cough: part of the :cough:bullshit:cough: routine and was just going straight to bullshit. It was that bad. It was bad I just left in the middle and went shopping again.

It was very much a dessert day.
But before that, I made my table's eyes bug out and their head explode. Not at my language or quoting of studies to contradict  an actual surgeon. But because we got to the table and there were all these plates of desserts. Including these delicious looking fruit tarts. There weren't enough fruit tarts for everyone to have one and I really wanted one. Plus I wasn't sure exactly what would be served in terms of quantities and I was worried I wouldn't have room for them. So I had one before lunch was served.

Apparently we aren't supposed to admit we do things like that. I shrugged and explained my philosophy about eating one bite of everything that I'd be disappointed if I didn't get to eat it and then eating my protein. And then I enjoyed my dessert, every single bite. A few people joined me and the rest pretended we didn't exist. It was interesting to watch.

Then, they served this incredibly tiny serving of some sort of vegetarian chili. It has TVP in it. I am not a fan of fake food so I was underwhelmed though the chili was acceptable, probably because it has black beans in it. (I love black beans.) But there was so little. Except what I didn't realize is that this was the entree. I was still worried about not being able to fit everything in. So I only ate half.

Then they brought out a salad. An extremely small fennel salad. I had never had fennel before, that I remembered, so I ate it with curiosity. It was okay. But very, very small.

There will also rolls but they weren't anything special. Bread has to be pretty damn special before I waste my calories on it and this bread did not cut it. Plus I'd already had dessert.

Then I sat and waited for my entree. Which never came. That was it. Salad (more raw vegetables). Sugary desserts (more dumping for RnYers), Bread, another thing that tends to give WLSers trouble and chili, which was a good choice for us, but there wasn't enough of it.

Once again, I was pissed but this time it was for a different reason. It was because part of why I didn't enjoy this event two years ago is that it felt like a big clique, one where I was not made to feel particularly welcome. (I had tried to run a fundraiser for the event and had been not encouraged in anyway and got the impression that my money was not even welcome, just for starters.)

The whole thing with the food being not appropriate for people who had WLS was because Dr. Garth was a member of the clique and he was vegan so we had to be too. If he had gotten Paleo Religion instead, we'd have all been eating slabs of meat and vegetables with berries for dessert with no dairy or grains. The food wasn't selected with us in mind -- we who had paid to attend this event -- but due to some convoluted social hierarchy the subtleties of which escape me, but whose existence was quite clear.

After one last bit of shopping, I returned to the Pacific Ballroom for a workshop tat was supposed to be geared to long-term post-ops but ended up catering to newbies (that always happens) and finished visiting all the vendors so I could get my 10 free raffle tickets.

Told you she was a Goddess.
Then I raced off to get ready for the evening event and to go out to dinner with Mr. Mac. He had made an early reservation at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant so I could have the chocolate plate. I love the chocolate plate. I'd been dreaming about it since I signed up for this convention, in fact. Plus the food there is divine.

I still didn't have a purse but I figured I'd be wearing my outfit so it would be very clear if the purses I'd been having trouble deciding between actually went with it or not.

I did my best to put on my make-up once again. As with the day before, I had make-up issues though. Now, I'm not much of a girly girl but I do actually know how to put on make-up. What I don't know is how to buy make-up. I usually just go to Sephora and buy what they tell me. Well, this time they led me astray. Plus my blush wasn't the color I thought it was and my daughter had "borrowed" my make-up brushes at some point and I never got back my blush or power ones so I was trying to put the setting powder on with an eye make-up brush!

I survived but I wasn't happy with the result. In particular, my eye make-up was too dark and I had no concealer either so the face was spottier than I liked. Oh well, I was going to Paris.

I ordered a chicken dish that was very good. Mr. Mac had the filet mignon and it was excellent. He also had the potatoes au gratin. I had a bite even though it's not the sort of thing I normally eat. They were perfection. They were like a dream. They were so good I actually sent a message back to the chef to tell him how good they were. I've never done anything like that before either.

Also, in the middle of dinner I ended up checking my email and ... I got the job I wanted! I was so excited that pretty much nothing that happened after that was going to ruin my mood. Not that anything bad happened, but if it had...

After dinner, I went back to the convention for their Sat. party. Since I'd just eaten, I had no idea if the food was good or plentiful. I do know there was still a lot of bread, fruit and raw veggies but there also seemed to be some meat at least.

They announced some award winners. That part was weird for various reasons. I am not big on awards. They are fun to get but they are often arbitrary and popularity contests. I have always been particularly mystified as to how the WLSFA picks it's grantees and decides what they are going to award to whom that year. So I didn't pay a lot of attention.

Let's be honest, we were all waiting for Carnie. As in Carnie Wilson of Wilson Philips.

Carnie Wilson has had WLS, is somewhat famous for it, is a funny speaker, and has had very public struggles. She is the Ambassador of Hope for the WLSFA. This is actually a somewhat controversial choice to some people because they'd rather see someone like Al Roker who has been more visibly successful, with minor struggles, not major ones, and definitely not a revision patient!

Personally, I was very curious as to what she had to say. Would she whitewash her experiences? Would any of it resonate with me given how different my own experiences had been? Would she say "fuck" a lot?

"Sisters" with matching earrings and stuff.
I have to say I wasn't disappointed. In fact, it was much better than I had imagined and it made me sorry I hadn't paid the $100 to have lunch with her on Friday. I bet she was a hoot there. She was here but also very inspiring.

She also made me realize that sometimes I can be a judgmental beoych. Because I was totally judging her before due to some of the public statements she's made and also forgetting that just because someone is famous doesn't mean they don't have feelings and fears just like the rest of us.

She talked about her own journey and being fat as a kid, dating, deciding to having WLS, researching, having it, having plastic surgery after losing the weight, not being in a good place then, starting to not follow the rules and drink with her meals and then finding out her stoma had stretched and now she never felt full.

This happens to people especially those who had WLS as far out as she has. One of my friends had this happen to her. Our surgeon put a band over her bypass, just like Carnie has, and she has done really well with it and I don't judge her at all. But I was judging Carnie and assuming she'd fail because of course she couldn't possibly have done any research or be doing this for the right reasons.

And maybe she isn't. I mean anyone can say anything, right? But I think, like all of us, she's a person who is going her best.

Then the party kind of broke up. They did play dance music and some of us did do some dancing. But that part of the evening didn't really take off. Mostly people ran around getting their pictures taken with their friends and chatting. I was tired as I'd been going to bed late and getting up early for days plus I was excited about my new job and wanting to see Mr. Mac so I went back to the room to "internet" and stuff.

End of Day Two. On to Day Three.
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